The Dallas Cowboys want Ezekiel Elliott, but they don’t want to use the No. 4 pick on him. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Cowboys are now considering trading down a few spots to take the former Ohio State running back.
“Some think the ultimate choice will be between Elliott and his former Ohio State teammate, defensive end Joey Bosa. Others think that the Cowboys may try to slide down a few spots and still emerge with their preferred choice.
To do that, they (like anyone else who trades down) would need to find someone who wants to trade up. Some think that, if tackle Laremy Tunseil is still on the board after the third pick, a team that covets him could try to move in front of the Jaguars at No. 5 and the Ravens at No. 6.”
There are three issues with this, two minor and one major.
The first minor issue is that Jerry Jones said on Monday that he will keep the No. 4 pick. The second is that on Sunday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network stated that the talks for the No. 3 and No. 4 picks had “cooled.”
Obviously this a fluid situation. Past reports could have been 100 percent true at the time, but end up looking completely false. If someone besides Tunseil is taken at No. 3 (assuming Jared Goff and Carson Wentz go 1 and 2), then the situation changes. A team looking to acquire the the Ole Miss tackle might be more willing to make a trade up when they clearly see he’ll be available.
The major issue here is that if the Cowboys trade down, they’re obviously opening the door for another team to trade up ahead of them and take Elliott. One team that could do that is the Miami Dolphins, who are currently picking at No. 13 and also have rumored interest in Elliott.
With that said, this is a risk worth taking for Dallas. There’s no way that Ezekiel Elliott should be taken at No. 4. And while Bosa is a good fit for the Cowboys, he’s not such a sure thing that Dallas should lock into him instead of trading down.
Who’s taken at No. 3 will naturally have a lot of say in what happens. But if teams are willing to give a sizable haul to acquire the man they want, the Cowboys should take them up on the offer. It might mean risking losing both Elliott and Bosa, but in this case the potential reward outweighs the risk.